Shun the screens to get some quality shut-eye, boffin urges
Stopping screen use of any kind - mobile phones, televisions and laptops are the chief offenders - is vital to getting an improved night's rest.
Achieving optimum "sleep hygiene" is essential to having a longer, and better, kip, according to researcher Markos Klonizakis.
Mr Klonizakis studies lifestyle habits and their impacts on overall health at Sheffield Hallam University.
Along with hygiene, Dr Klonizakis urged Sheffielders to darken their bedrooms to improve sleep.
British sleeping habits are neither terrific, nor terrible, according to Dr Klonizakis, but 27 per cent of us complain about not getting enough shut eye.
"We know from research we need more than six hours," Dr Klonizakis said.
"The NHS goes for a minimum of six.
"Roughly 40 per cent don't sleep more than six hours."
Ideally, Dr Klonizakis recommended getting between seven and eight hours.
It's not just about the amount of time spent in bed. Quality - minimal tossing and turning - is also a big part of how refreshed you are in the morning.
Along with taking the phone out of the bedroom, Dr Klonizakis suggests leaving work stresses and similar distractions outside the door.
"You shouldn't bring them home anyway," Dr Klonizakis, a Lincoln resident, said.
Even eating habits can affect how well you sleep.
"Avoid a heavy meal and give yourself time to digest," Dr Klonizakis said.
Dr Klonizakis and his team have just completed a study into sleep apnoea. It involved participants testing a sleeping prototype for seven days, along with using a relaxation CD.
The results of the two-and-a half-year study are being collated and interpreted.
The team will soon put the call out for residents to take part in a study involving electronic cigarettes.
It's part of Dr Klonizakis' wider work studying lifestyle intervention.
"As you go deeper into these things, you realise these things are related," Dr Klonizakis said.
The aim of the team is to "improve the health outcomes of people in need".
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